Huger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

empire-cover-jennifer-lawrence-katniss-everdeen-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-oneThe time has come to say goodbye to one of the dominating series in the YA genre.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 brings the dystopian series to a close.  Ending such a worldwide phenomenon isn’t easy, and Mockingjay is close to a bullseye.

Following the book with remarkable accuracy, Mockingjay Part 2 brings the series to a close with the end of an explosive (no pun intended) war. The entire movie follows Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique in X-men First Class), and her “squad” of soldiers as they race to end the war before it ends them and the rest of the nation.  Being adapted from a book that was obviously written for the screen makes it easy for the film to follow the story.  The entire plot is about Katniss trying to get to the center of the capitol and end the war.  Aside from this is the story of Katniss’s struggle to chose between her childhood friend Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth (Will Blakelee in The Last Song), and her Hunger Games ally and lover Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson (Jess in Bridge to Terabithia).  It is a simple plot that was dragged out over the course of two hours and seventeen minutes. The pacing was a little off, and the movie probably could have been shorter.

The tone of this movie gravely shifts from that of the rest of the series.  It is darker and lacks the humor that flirted through the other installments in the franchise.  The character deaths have more effect on other characters and viewers alike.  

The actors really stepped it up in this last installment.  The acting from Lawrence in her most emotional scenes was spectacular, which should be expected since she is an Oscar winner, but she brought the character of Katniss to a new level this time around.  Unexpectedly, Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson in Daredevil) also delivered an emotionally charged performance despite the fact that his character, Pollux, can’t talk.  The rest of the cast including Woody Harrelson (Merritt McKinney in Now You See Me), Donald Sutherland (John Bridger in The Italian Job), Julianne Moore (Alice in Still Alice), Sam Claflin (William in Snow White and the Huntsman), Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones), and many more.  Most of this cast has been there since the beginning, and the closeness between them shows.  The entire cast does a phenomenal job in this film.  This was definitely Hutcherson’s best movie out of the four, and he really shines.  

The action scenes of this movie are intense, well executed, and numerous.  There were no expense spared by director Francis Lawrence for this film.  It is all well filmed and executed magnificently.

Overall, I give Mockingjay Part 2 a 7/10 stars.  It was a good movie, but the pacing, length, and lack of bang effect make it fall a little short.  Personally, the last film in a series should be the best, and sadly Mockingjay doesn’t quite qualify.

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